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When retired Pope Benedict XVI is laid to relaxation on Thursday, it is going to be an occasion unprecedented within the fashionable historical past of the Catholic Church.
Not solely was Benedict the primary fashionable pope to step down, however his funeral might be extremely uncommon as a result of the sitting pope will preside over the funeral of a former one.
Benedict died on Saturday morning in his residence, the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, the Vatican introduced. The previous pope was gravely sick over the previous week.
Benedict’s funeral mass is scheduled to happen on Thursday in St. Peter’s Sq.. His stays are anticipated to be on public show in St. Peter’s Basilica beginning Monday for folks to supply their remaining farewells.
The previous pope was elected the 265th pontiff in 2005 at age 78 — turning into the oldest particular person to be elected since 1730. He served for seven years earlier than turning into the primary pope to resign in almost 600 years, citing his superior age as a cause he was now not suited to steer.
A uncommon spectacle the place a sitting pope will preside over the funeral of a former one
The Holy See Press Workplace introduced that Pope Francis will preside over Benedict’s funeral — a notable occasion within the historical past of the Church, provided that it typically took a pope’s passing for a brand new chief to be chosen.
Regardless of the weird circumstances, throughout Francis’ tenure, he has repeatedly paid respects to his predecessor.
“Nice in energy and mental perception, nice in his important contribution to theology, nice in his love for the Church and for human beings, nice in his advantage and his religiosity,” Francis mentioned in 2014 in the course of the debut of a brand new statue in honor of Benedict within the Vatican Gardens.
On Wednesday, the Holy See Press Workplace mentioned Francis visited Benedict and requested the group for prayer relating to his well being.
Benedict leaves behind an advanced legacy
Benedict’s tenure as pope was marked by each his ambition and humility.
Coming into workplace, he was decided to strengthen the Catholic Church’s core beliefs and denounce fashionable developments that he believed have been undermining Catholicism.
However his pursuit additionally created rifts with some communities. In 2006, Benedict infuriated Muslims all over the world after referencing a historic quote that derided the religion. He later apologized. Benedict additionally harm the Church’s relations with the Jewish group attributable to his choice to elevate the excommunication of Richard Williamson, a bishop often known as a Holocaust denier.
“Within the face of scandals and ecclesiastical careerism, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI by no means ceased to name for conversion, penance and humility,” mentioned Andrea Tornielli, the editorial director for the Vatican Dicastery for Communication in a press release.